When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

On the perils of not knowing your philosophy

"A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight." - Robertson Davies


On misinterpreting Clausewitz and the Dialectical Method:

"Clausewitz used a dialectical method to construct his argument, leading to frequent misinterpretation of his ideas. British military theorist B. H. Liddell Hart contends that the enthusiastic acceptance of the Prussian military establishment – especially Moltke the Elder – of what they believed to be Clausewitz's ideas, and the subsequent widespread adoption of the Prussian military system worldwide, had a deleterious effect on military theory and practice, due to their egregious misinterpretation of his ideas:

As so often happens, Clausewitz's disciples carried his teaching to an extreme which their master had not intended. ... [Clauswitz's] theory of war was expounded in a way too abstract and involved for ordinary soldier-minds, essentially concrete, to follow the course of his argument – which often turned back from the direction in which it was apparently leading. Impressed yet befogged, they grasped at his vivid leading phrases, seeing only their surface meaning, and missing the deeper current of his thought.

As described by Christopher Bassford, professor of strategy at the National War College of the United States:

One of the main sources of confusion about Clausewitz's approach lies in his dialectical method of presentation. For example, Clausewitz's famous line that "War is a mere continuation of politics by other means," ("Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln") while accurate as far as it goes, was not intended as a statement of fact. It is the antithesis in a dialectical argument whose thesis is the point – made earlier in the analysis – that "war is nothing but a duel [or wrestling match, a better translation of the German Zweikampf] on a larger scale." His synthesis, which resolves the deficiencies of these two bold statements, says that war is neither "nothing but" an act of brute force nor "merely" a rational act of politics or policy. This synthesis lies in his "fascinating trinity" [wunderliche Dreifaltigkeit]: a dynamic, inherently unstable interaction of the forces of violent emotion, chance, and rational calculation.

Another example of this confusion is the idea that Clausewitz was a proponent of total war as used in the Third Reich's propaganda in the 1940s. He did not coin the phrase as an ideological ideal – indeed, Clausewitz did not use the term "total war" at all. Rather, he discussed "absolute war" or "ideal war" as the purely logical result of the forces underlying a "pure," Platonic "ideal" of war. In what Clausewitz called a "logical fantasy," war cannot be waged in a limited way: the rules of competition will force participants to use all means at their disposal to achieve victory. But in the real world, such rigid logic is unrealistic and dangerous. As a practical matter, the military objectives in real war that support one's political objectives generally fall into two broad types: "war to achieve limited aims" and war to "disarm" the enemy, that is, "to render [him] politically helpless or militarily impotent." Thus the complete defeat of one's enemies may be neither necessary, desirable, nor even possible."

And the reasons for this:

"It's hardly surprising that so much controversy is thrown up by "On War" when one considers that many who oppose its thoughts and ideas, and indeed those who accede to them have never read the whole work.

That the original German version is inherently difficult in itself to understand.

That there have been countless translations over the years - and many of these probably fail to interpret certain terms and ideas accurately from the original.

That at his death Clausewitz himself had yet to finish "On War".

That the unfinished pages were still in draft form when he died and compiled and published by his wife"

--- The History Network: Clausewitz

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Links - 23rd September 2010

"My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?" - Charles M. Schulz


Toilet Seat Deities! > APOLOGIA - "We are two women. Two women who make these toilet seats, lovingly, with our own hands, in our own home... We feel that it is important to put strong female images out there in the universe to attempt to counteract the negativity that is and has been directed at woman throughout the millennia."
Somehow putting images of famous female figures on toilet seats is empowering. A more plausible alternative feminist interpretation would be that it is insulting by associating women with night soil and imprisoning them in the bathroom

Terry Pratchett creates a sword with meteorites

Why is it America's job to save the world from asteroids?
If it was China and the asteroid was headed for a country they didn't like, they'd let it hit

Why Minimum Wage Should be Increased - "In a monopsonistic market, a minimum wage brings the supply and demand equilibrium closer to its most efficient levels. Therefore, minimum wage can actually reduce unemployment under this theory. Whether the labor market is actually monopsonistic has been debated, but the argument is a better explanation of labor markets than the supply and demand model"

Why do costs over-run? (on the 2012 London Olympics) - "2003: Consultants Arup put total cost of building and staging the Games at £1.796bn
2003: Tessa Jowell launches bid in May telling MPs it will cost £2.375bn - including a 50% contingency
2005: Bid succeeds in July with "prudent" estimate of preparing for games of £2.4bn
2006: Tessa Jowell says Olympic Park costs up to £3.3bn
2007: Olympic Park budget now at £5.3bn - including regeneration and infrastructure
2007: Total budget, including contingency, security and tax, reaches £9.35bn"
Those who think YOG cost overruns are out of this world need to get some perspective; also see: Olympic Games Cost Overruns over time: Montreal 1976 hit 11.9x the original budget

The shocking effects of being single. - 1 - Sex & Relationships on xinmsn Lifestyle
I'd love being a columnist. You can pull 'facts' out of your ass and no one will call you out

Is This the Saddest IMDB Profile Ever? - "The profile, being called "The Saddest Entry on IMDB," lists Sellors as the uncredited "Woman who urinates herself." Since 2005, she has skyrocketed from being the 1.2 millionth most popular actor on IMDB to 1,442nd thanks to her many fans"

29 Images Define The Hard To Describe Concept Of Irony.
The one with the swastika is a great demonstration of American ignorance

Johann Hari: We need to stop being such cowards about Islam - "How did Christianity lose its ability to terrorise people with phantasms of sin and Hell?... critics pored over the religion's stories and found gaping holes of logic or morality in them... Ask enough tough questions and faith is inevitably pushed farther and farther back into the misty realm of metaphor – where it is less likely to inspire people to kill and die for it... The greatest censorship is internal: it is in all the books that will never be written and all the films that will never be shot, because we are afraid. We need to acknowledge the double-standard – and that it will cost Muslims in the end. Insulating a religion from criticism – surrounding it with an electric fence called "respect" – keeps it stunted at its most infantile and fundamentalist stage... Among Vikings, it was more normal than today to have your arm chopped off, but that didn't mean it wasn't agony... You cannot say that Mohamed's decision to marry a young girl has to be judged by the standards of his time, and then demand that we follow his moral standards to the letter... It is condescending to treat Muslims like excitable children who cannot cope with the probing, mocking treatment we hand out to Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism... There is now a pincer movement trying to silence critical discussion of Islam. To one side, fanatics threaten to kill you; to the other, critics call you "Islamophobic""

The argument against ladies nights - "Clubs promote drink discounts to attract more women -- because that means more men will show up. I believe the technical term for this is: Sex sells. So, dudes end up paying full price for cover and drinks and, in many scenarios, they are essentially helping to pay the way of the female patrons. They are paying for lady-tainment, whether it's explicit or not. It's a lot like allowing a man to buy you a drink -- he is paying for your attention and time. A lot of women are perfectly comfortable with that and others, like myself, not so much -- but I'd argue there should at least be some consistency there... If the roles were reversed, we would be in full-on protest mode"
People fight harder for their interests than other people's rights

Women end up less happy than men - "Less able to achieve their life goals, women end up unhappier than men later in life – even though they start out happier... after the age of 48, men's overall happiness exceeds women's happiness. These gender patterns of overall happiness correlate to patterns in two significant aspects of life satisfaction: family and finances. As Plagnol explains: In later life it is "men [who] come closer to fulfilling their aspirations, are more satisfied with their family lives and financial situations, and are the happier of the two." Women and men have fairly similar life goals when it comes to love... The saddest period of the average man's life – his 20s – is also the period when he is most likely to be single. Young men are also more dissatisfied than young women with their financial situations, not because they are worse off, but because they want more... After 34, men are more likely to be married than women, and the gap only widens with age"
One commenter pointed out that the unhappy men will off themselves as time goes by, which could account for rising happiness

Disinfecting hand gels don't help stop swine flu spread

Fat men enjoy longer lasting sex scientific research show - "Men with high fat levels were found to have higher levels of the female sex hormone oestradiol, which disrupts the chemical balance in their body, making them last longer during sex... "We found that premature ejaculators were leaner""
One comment: "Of coarse they take longer , they grind slower and have to stop to get their breath back every minute"

Six dead after US breakfast killing spree in Kentucky
Clearly the US needs more guns to deter crime

O citizens and permanent residents, where art thou? « Standing Sushi Bar - "I am unable to open because I simply can not find local service staff... Singapore dictates a new company must hire only citizens and permanent residents for the first 3 months... I had 95 people respond to that job ad – 95 people that wanted a service crew position. Guess how many were Singapore citizens? ZERO. ZERO OUT OF NINETY-FIVE. Two out of the ninety-five applicants were Singapore permanent residents. Only one showed up for an interview."

Public Consultation on the proposed Women's Charter Amendments
Naturally, they don't let men claim maintenance from ex-wives zzz

African Manufacturing: Bono’s Naivety Continues… | Kenyanentrepreneur.com - "I just saw an article in the Wall Street Journal that mentions Bono’s fashion line, which was supposed to help African manufacturer’s. The clothes are now being manufactured in China... I think [Bono's] goal of eliminating poverty in Africa is hinged with a level of ignorance, arrogance and extreme naivety... The problem with Africa is culture. We do not have a culture of production. We make nothing and we produce nothing... 'Shipments from Africa arrived late, and retailers complained about the clothes’ design and fit, leading to poor sales'... 'If you want to argue with the Chinese, you better have the same standards for the governments in Africa'"

YouTube - Bach Panther - "Fugue n°XXIV extraite des 60 "Préludes & Fugues dans les Trente Tonalités" de Stéphane Delplace.
D'après le thème de la Panthère Rose d'Henri Mancini."

Four reasons why high-fructose corn syrup is probably not the Devil - "Most of the high-fructose corn syrup you'll run into is only 55% fructose. Other natural sweeteners, like honey and apple sugar, are also in the range of around 50% fructose. There's no solid evidence that shows this fructose to be any different than the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup. If you're really concerned about fructose (And I'm not sure you should be yet. Most of those studies are dealing with pure fructose in test tube or animal research, not real-life mixtures of sugar in human bodies.) your best bet may be maple syrup, which is only 1% fructose."

How Can Beer Make Your Girlfriend's Boobs Bigger? | SPIKE - "Since I've been drinking [beer] competitively, my boobs are a lot bigger. At least a full cup size"
I'm surprised they actually got people with credentials to testify. But apparently it doesn't work

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Truthful words are not beautiful, beautiful words are not truthful

"No one goes there nowadays, it's too crowded." - Yogi Berra




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No BJ in BJ

"The deepest definition of youth is life as yet untouched by tragedy." - Alfred North Whitehead


"Outcall massage service
Service will be done at you hotel/apartment
Early booking is suggested

Monday, September 20, 2010

Firenze Sunrise (Hi-Res)

"What's on your mind, if you will allow the overstatement?" - Fred Allen


(via Sangyu)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Links - 19th September 2010

"Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States." - J. Bartlett Brebner


Johann Hari: Catholics, it's you this Pope has abused - "Hans Küng, a former friend of Ratzinger's, says: "No one in the whole of the Catholic Church knew as much about abuse cases as this Pope"... There are people who will tell you that these criticisms of Ratzinger are "anti-Catholic". What could be more anti-Catholic than to cheer the man who facilitated the rape of your children? What could be more pro-Catholic than to try to bring him to justice? This is only one of Ratzinger's crimes. When he visited Africa in March 2009, he said that condoms "increase the problem" of HIV/Aids"

Lingua::Romana::Perligata -- Perl for the XXIimum Century - "This paper describes a Perl module -- Lingua::Romana::Perligata -- that makes it possible to write Perl programs in Latin. A plausible rationale for wanting to do such a thing is provided, along with a comprehensive overview of the syntax and semantics of Latinized Perl"

Fewer men for women in Singapore - "Will Singaporean women have less of a choice when it comes to their life partner now?"

Suicides, depression cost Japan $32 billion – gov’t - "Prime Minister Naoto Kan, a former grassroots activist, has pointed to the suicide numbers as proof of what he believes is wrong with the country, with too many people suffering economically and emotionally"

Why are Beautiful Women Crazy ? - "What makes beautiful women more likely to be crazy? The simple answer is, that they are given more opportunity to be crazy, and crazy behavior seems to be more readily accepted from them... It is appropriate to note that men can be crazy too. However, because of societal pressures on men, they don't seem to be crazy (or neurotic) quite as frequently as women. In general crazy behavior is not tolerated as readily in men as in women... it's sad but true; you'll never have sex like the sex you get with crazy women. Why? It seems that acting crazy automatically reduces or eliminates concern for the views of others... Actions speak louder than words - it really doesn't matter what she says. In fact, unless you're well versed in translating "Womenese" into English, focus 90 to 95% of your attention on her actions... Can you change her? Well, if you're a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or other health care professional - maybe. The next question is, should you? Probably not... Many men, having originally gone for the "10's" are settling for the "7's", "8's" and "9's" in order to get away from all the drama"
I don't know if this has any support, but it sure is hilarious

China goes organic after scandal of cooking oil from sewers - "The Chinese now consume more than twice as much organic food as health-conscious Japan... Interest has been promoted by a series of scares including toxic beans, contaminated milk and pork, pesticide-laced dumplings, chemically-tainted chicken, and the growing presence of what is known as “sewage oil”... there are no laws against skimming oil from drains"
China: poisoning their own people, and the world

Man replaces ex-girlfriend with custom-made sex doll - ""I want it just like her but with bigger boobs"... "She was a smiling blonde girl but he wanted bigger boobs and a curvier backside"... "She is now the perfect girlfriend as far as I can see," Mr Bortolin said."
Interestingly it was the Sex Doll maker who made the "perfect girlfriend" remark

The 17 Weirdest Things Schools Have Banned (PHOTOS)
I especially like the ban on Father's Day cards - since it's insensitive to children without fathers (Mother's Day cards are okay)

Here's A Guy Sealed In A Vacuum Bag Playing Mario Kart
Damn Japs

Our conflicted relationship with animals - "Very few people are vegetarians; even most vegetarians eat meat... They asked people one day: Describe your diet. And 5 percent said they were vegetarians. Well, then they called the same people back a couple of days later and asked them about what they ate in the last 24 hours. And over 60 percent of these vegetarians had eaten meat... the passage of the chicken welfare proposition in California [Proposition 2]; that passed, while the gay marriage proposition on the same ballot was defeated. The chicken amendment -- it was chickens and pigs -- there was no party affiliation. Both liberals and conservatives voted for that. So I think in some ways we are more concerned about animal welfare than ever before. So it's actually a great paradox... two-thirds of vegetarians eventually resume eating meat... I uncovered a piece in the New York Times from 1877... they rounded up 750 stray dogs [, put them] in this metal, iron cage, and lower it into the East River with a crane... cockfighters take good care of them, as opposed to the chicken we eat, which usually live very short, very miserable lives... What would be worse if you were a dog? Being thrown into a river and drowned, or living a life of an animal in a hoarding situation, where you're slowly starving to death? So the cruelty of hoarding is in a way greater than the cruelty of these instances. And two-thirds of hoarders are women... [There is belief] that there is a strong link... between childhood animal abuse and growing up to be a sociopathic adult... a slew of studies have now shown that the rates of [animal] abuse by college students is about the same in terms of rate of abuse by prisoners... we basically have drawn that moral circle [around pets] so that we think of them more like us than like them"

YouTube - 【Mario】paper stop motion / 【マリオ】付箋でストップモーション

The father who never gave up - "Melinda was accusing him of molesting their son... The psychologist praised both of them, saying they clearly loved their little boy. He didn't think that Andrew had been abused by Ken or by anybody else. The NSW police didn't think so either. The psychologist also said that Melinda might have had an underlying psychiatric disorder that enabled her to sincerely hold false beliefs without any evidence... He has put up with a lot online, where he is often labelled a child abuser... "The irony in all this is the Family Court bent over backwards not to back me but to believe Melinda," he says. "When she made her allegations, they restricted me to supervised visits. "It was all about keeping Andrew safe from me. Nothing was done to keep him safe from Melinda, who is actually the one who abducted him""

German party mistakenly hands out porn pens to kids - "To sweeten their first day at primary school German children are normally given a cardboard cone filled with sweets, but schoolchildren in Essen this year opened their cones to find pens which project erotic images."

A Taste of Home in Foil Packets and Powder - "Troops from nearly 50 lands dine on combat meals in Afghanistan — each reminding them of where they’d rather be"

How to Make Vodka Liquor Gummy Bears

Don’t Be a Dick, Part 1: the video | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine - "How many people were "converted" to skepticism by having a skeptic yelling at them and insulting them... given what we know about the way people argue and change their views on issues, the vast majority of people will become further entrenched when confronted in that way. In other words, being a dick not only usually doesn’t work, it almost always works against the bigger goal of swaying the most people we can... "What a dick"... I think that way when the person belittles their opponent, uses obviously inflammatory language, or overly aggressively gets in their face."

Religious Outlier - "Gallup surveyed people in more than 100 countries in 2009 and found that religiosity was highly correlated to poverty. Richer countries in general are less religious. But that doesn’t hold true for the United States."

Antidumping protection hurts exporters: firm-level evidence from France - "Firms protected by antidumping measures do not unequivocally benefit from them. Antidumping protection benefits non-exporters active on the protected market by raising their domestic sales, but hurts exporters of similar products as the protected ones. Export sales of protected firms fall by almost 8% compared to a relevant control group of unprotected firms. This effect more than doubles for firms that are global, i.e. firms with foreign affiliates. Measured at the product-level, extra-EU exports of goods protected by antidumping fall by 36% while exports to target countries fall by as much as 66% following protection. Protection also has an effect on the extensive margin, by raising the probability to start exporting for firms that were initially non-exporters. Existing exporters face a higher probability to stop exporting during protection. Finally, we find that the productivity of exporters falls while that of non-exporters rises during antidumping protection"

About Hossan Leong Show’s “censorship” - "Some­one had taken offense and com­plained about the words, “Halal Veg­e­tar­ian Babi Pongteh”, which was a dish to be con­cocted by “Bibik Lim”, a recur­ring char­ac­ter in the show... I there­fore apol­o­gize unre­servedly to the gen­tle­man who spot­ted the offend­ing copy on the flier, who was upset enough to write to the local Malay-language paper. The pro­duc­tion com­pany has, on the direc­tion of the MDA, recalled every poster and flier from every dis­tri­b­u­tion point in Singapore."
I knew someone would complain about Halal Vegetarian Babi Pongteh zzz. Vegetarians should now picket mock meat

U.S. takes a tougher tone with China - "Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Cui Tiankai told two senior U.S. officials that China now views its claims to the 1.3 million-square-mile [South China] sea on par with its claims to Tibet and Taiwan... Clinton... said: "Legitimate claims to maritime space in the South China Sea should be derived solely from legitimate claims to land features"... Foreign Minister Yang reacted by leaving the meeting for an hour. When he returned, he gave a rambling 30-minute response in which he accused the United States of plotting against China on this issue, seemed to poke fun at Vietnam's socialist credentials and apparently threatened Singapore, according to U.S. and Asian officials in the room... Yang issued a statement on the Foreign Ministry's Web site saying that there was no need to internationalize the issue, that China was still intent on solving all of the disputes bilaterally and that China's view represented the interests of "fellow Asians""
A Pax Sinica will only come about if every other country is subjugated

YouTube - Groland - Pas facile de s'intégrer

Chemistry Ph.D. thesis explained via dance routine

In Professor-Dominatrix Scandal, U. of New Mexico Feels the Pain - "Life has become extremely complex in the University of New Mexico's English department in the three years since Lisa D. Chávez, a tenured associate professor, was discovered moonlighting as the phone-sex dominatrix "Mistress Jade," and posing in promotional pictures sexually dominating one of her own graduate students... Several members of the English department accuse Ms. Chávez of abusing her power over students, and allege that the administration retaliated against professors who complained about her extracurricular activities... For her part, Ms. Chávez has accused her accusers, in complaints to the university and the state, of discriminating against her because she is bisexual and Hispanic... When students brought up phone-sex work in her classes, Ms. Chávez, who describes herself as "a pro-sex feminist," spoke approvingly of how empowering such jobs were, of how the students had found a great way to gain outside income and life experience they could draw upon as writers"
This *had* to happen in an English department

Falling in love costs you friends - "Oxford University researchers asked people about their inner core of friendships and how this number changed when romance entered the equation. They found the core, which numbers about five people, dropped by two as a new lover came to dominate daily life... He has previously shown that the maximum number of friends it is realistically possible to engage is about 150"

Seeing a special offer while shopping 'is just like watching porn' - "A coupon or free gift with a jar of Marmite or a loaf of bread gives them just as much excitement as pornography"

Titty Titty Bang Bang - "From: 1000 Ways to Die"

Burglar Anthony Gawthrop leaves phone at victim's house then texts police

Britain goes halal (...but nobody tells public)

Une demande de remboursement

"I only know two pieces; one is 'Clair de Lune' and the other one isn't." - Victor Borge


La publicité:

*Professeur ATAN*

Le célèbre voyant
Médium connu dans le monde entier
Puissants dons de magie héréditaires

Passé, présent et avenir n'ont pas de secrets pour lui. Tous vos problèmes peuvent être résolus, même les cas les plus désespérés. Retrouver l'affection d'un être cher, amour durable ou fidélité entre époux : si ton ami(e) est parti(e), il/elle reviendra vite, comme le chien derrière son maître. Problèmes familiaux, désenvoûtement, puissance sexuelle, perte de poids, guérison des maladies, protection contre les dangers, réussite aux examens, attraction de clientèle pour le commerce, chance aux jeux, apaisement des conflits : rien n'est impossible !

Avec la bague magique du Professeur Atan, voyez vos espoirs les plus fous se réaliser !

Résultats garantis à 99 %. Satisfait ou remboursé.

Pour seulement 200 € (+frais de port) cette bague est à vous !

Bon de commande à renvoyer à Professeur Charles ATAN
9, rue des Renards. MONACO


Ma demande de remboursement:

Professeur Atan,

Le mois dernier, j'ai acheté une de vos 'bagues magiques', après avoir vu votre publicité. Malgré mes plusieurs problèmes, j'étais ravi, puisque j'ai imaginé qu'ils iraient résolus.

Alors. Vous êtes bien nommé. Vraiment, vous êtes un charlatan. Putain !

Avant d'acheter votre bague, j'avais une petite amie. Elle était laide, mais je l'ai aimée quand même. Après avoir acheté votre bague, je me suis réveillé, un jour, et j'ai arrivé de découvrir qu'elle était partie. Elle m'a laissé ; j'avais le cœur brisé ! Un jour plus tard, les gais me batifoleront. C'est un cauchemar ! Maintenant, il faut me cacher tous les jours.

Bien. Selon votre publicité, en achetant votre bague, je n'aurais plus de problèmes sexuels. Hélas, aujourd'hui, je ne ressens rien. En effet, j'ai diminué, je le jure ! Palsambleu !

Votre bague ne m'a aidé pas du tout. Par contre, j'ai encore plus de problèmes.

Mes amis ont acheté vos bagues aussi, comme moi. Ils me disent que les bagues sont les arnaques. Non, ils me disent qu'elles sont comme les blagues.

J'exige que vous m'envoyerez mon remboursement tout de suite ! N'oublierez pas d'envoyer le frais de port. Ne me trompez pas encore ! Au fait, je vous propose de fermer votre bordel.

Je vous prie d'agréer, Professeur Atan, l'expression de mes salutations distinguées.

PS: Je sais que votre vrai nom est 'François Lecoq'.
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